Law Street Media

Opposition Filed in Bid to Dismiss Tainted Baby Foods Suit

Subject: Two wooden shelves holding a variety of canned vegetables and fruits, lined up in rows of glass jars. Food staples canned include jellies, sauces, or slices of carrots, green beans, tomatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, sauerkraut, roasted red peppers, dill pickles, raspberry jam, orange marmalade, grape jelly, and a tomato and corn soup.

On Wednesday, plaintiffs suing defendant Plum PBC filed a memorandum in opposition to the defendant’s motion to dismiss. The original filing of the class action complaint was done so in February in the Northern District of California Oakland Division. 

Plum PBC is a national distributor of baby food and snacks that was founded in 2007 and is incorporated in Delaware and has its headquarters in California. 

The complaint states that Plum PBC was “negligent, reckless, and/or intentional practice of misrepresenting and failing to fully disclose the presence of dangerous substances in its baby food sold throughout the United States.” The substances referred to in the complaint include heavy metals, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.

The complaint also states that the plaintiffs had no scientific knowledge or background to discern whether the defendant’s products were truly healthy for babies as they had alluded to in their advertisements. The plaintiffs are alleging that they had trusted in the brands advertising and nutritional information to make decisions on whether or not to feed their babies.

The presence of heavy metals due to a congressional investigation that reported that some of these substances were found in baby food at significant levels. The subcommittee in charge of the investigation stated that “these toxic heavy metals pose serious health risks to babies and toddlers.”

The defendant wants to dismiss the case on the grounds that it is not possible to entirely eliminate heavy metals from their products. Plum PBC heavily relies on the FDA’s “closer to zero initiative” to argue that they do their best in adhering to the government guidelines of lowering the amount of heavy metals in their products. They conclude their argument by stating that the “FDA is uniquely situated to draw on vast resources and scientific data to resolve the question.” 

The defendant faces twelve counts, including negligent misrepresentation against defendant on behalf of the class, violations of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, violation of California false advertising law, California’s Business & Professions code, violations of the unfair competition law, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, and unjust enrichment against defendant on behalf of the classes. 

The plaintiffs are being co represented by Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. and Lite DePalma Greenberg & Afanador, LLC

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